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Opinion: Russia’s Troublesome Ally
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Belarus’ strained relationship with Russia illustrates the contradictory relationship between its leadership and that in Moscow during the presidential election campaign. The problematic areas include the war in Ukraine and the closely related issue of collaboration in the military-industrial complex. In...
2 September 2015
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Presidential Elections in Belarus: Why the West Should Not Hold Its Breath

On 1 September the Central Elections Committee of Belarus announced that four presidential candidates had submitted enough signatures to run in elections scheduled for 11 October this year. Although few question the outcome of this elections and the official victory...

26 August 2015
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How Russia’s Subsidies Save the Belarusian Economy

On 24 August, the Brent oil price fell to $43, which was close to a 7-year low. Although Belarus has not got its own crude oil, this is terrible news for its economy. The cheaper the oil, the lower...

25 August 2015
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Belarus Strengthens Its Air Force With Russia’s Reluctant Support

Last week, the Belarusian army newspaper Vo Slavu Rodiny published an article praising the newly received Russian warplanes. However, these Russian aircraft are a step backward compared to the equipment that Belarus already had. President Lukashenka recently publicly complained that...

18 August 2015
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Belarus and Russian Food Embargo: a Success Story?

Belarus became the primary beneficiary of the food embargo, which Russia imposed against Western nations in August 2014. In January – May 2015, Belarus supplied 916.4 thousand tons of embargoed products to Russia, a 53.5% increase over the same...

17 August 2015
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Lukashenka’s 2015 Election Strategy

On 4 August, Belarusian president Aliaksandr Lukashenka met with journalists of non-government media to discuss a wide range of topics. In particular he focused on the preelection campaign and the conflict in Ukraine, stressing that Russia will not go...

27 July 2015
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Will Belarus Ever Become a WTO Member?

Two weeks ago, Belarusian Deputy Foreign Minister Aliaksandr Hurjanau declared Belarus was planning to finish all of the necessary technical work for the country’s accession to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in one year's time. However, exactly three years...

18 May 2015
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Sanctions, Peace Talks, Bologna Process: Is There Hope for Change?

After a second attempt, on 14 May Belarus joined the Bologna process and the group of 47 countries forming the common European Higher Education Area (EHEA). While Belarus's acceptance into the Bologna process may open up prospects for long-term...

13 April 2015
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Threats to Belarus, Eurasian Union, Political Prisoners – Digest of Belarusian Analytics

Belarusian analysts discuss the threat to Belarusian statehood from Russia, the pros and contras of the Eurasian Economic Union as well as protest potential and intensified contacts of Belarus with the West. Foreign Policy Karbalevich on Belarus: Hybrid Ally...

11 March 2015
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Russia Pushes For Single Visa Space, Belarus Resists

Russia is getting serious about the idea of creating a unified visa space with Belarus. On 3 March, Moscow brought in big guns when Vladimir Putin announced upcoming talks on an agreement providing for the mutual recognition of each country's...

3 March 2015
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Is Belarus Coming Out of Isolation?

On March 3, in Moscow, Russian president Vladimir Putin presented his Belarusian counterpart Aliaksandr Lukashenka with the Order of Aleksandr Nevsky award. Ostensibly it marked his work in international cooperation in the service of the Russian Federation, linked perhaps...

18 February 2015
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Russia is Trying to Control CSTO Countries, Mobilisation – Belarus Security Digest

Fears that a call for mobilisation was on the horizon sent the public into a panic in Belarus, though the concerns were largely unfounded. The Belarusian military and industrial complex is planning for the future and hopes on orders from...

5 February 2015
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Is Lukashenka Preparing for a War?

At the end of January, Belarus temporally mobilised nearly 15,000 reservists - a large number for the nearly 50,000-strong national army. A major Russian news portal Gazeta.ru linked this move to the escalation of the Ukrainian conflict. At the same...

4 February 2015
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Belarus Tightens Media Control to Prepare for Election

Last month Belarusian authorities continued their offensive against independent media. An amendment to the media law, in force since 1 January, tightened the state's control over the Internet. Eight days later, the state ordered the confiscation of profits from an independent...

5 January 2015
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Lukashenka in Ukraine, Blocking the Internet and Gandalf for President – Western Press Digest

Belarus-Russia tensions continue to grow as the economies of both countries come under more and more stress. Seeking to distance himself from the image of being the Kremlin's vassal, Lukashenka went to Kiev to reaffirm his commitment to help...